The Awl announces a redesign and asks for submissions. They’re looking for stuff about “architecture; urbanism (but not the dull, aggravating kind); interesting pieces or works of criticism about movies, books, television, or music that are not simply reviews or recaps or RED HOT TAKES; observed non-fiction; offbeat works about fashion and style; stories about places and cities and towns that aren’t New York (and also that are) and the people living in them that would work wonderfully in an alt-weekly; labor and capital and activism(!);videogames because why not; food and drink; history, personal or otherwise; c r i m e; genderand race and sex (just not from white men); THE MEDIA and writing too; science, death,your breakup, spacetime and/or faith, dogs, bears, whatever.”
At the New Yorker, Richard Brody praises a newly released John Coltrane album, Offering: Live at Temple University, which was recorded in 1966, a few months before Coltrane died, and on which the saxophonist plays in his late period, free-jazz style. Brody has no patience for those Coltrane fans, like Geoff Dyer, who prefer Trane’s more accessible playing. As Brody puts it, “Dyer is so bound to his own idea of what jazz is, and to its popular and classical roots, that he can’t hear the ideas of one of its greatest creator.” Dyer, for his part, hears in Coltrane’s free explorations not a yearning spirituality, as it is often described, but rather “the momentum of what he’d done before—and a situation he’d helped to create—carrying him towards a terminus, a brick wall, a dead-end or, in the cosmic scheme of things, some kind of interstellar void.”
Tonight, at Housing Works in Manhattan, Bomb launches its new anthology, The Author Interviews. The book features a great number of interesting conversational pairings, including Sharon Olds and Amy Hempel, Paula Fox and Lynne Tillman, andRachel Kushner and Hari Kunzru. At least a few of these writers, we assume, will be in attendance.
Jonah Lehrer, disgraced in 2012 for self-plagiarism and the apparent invention of a handful of quotes he attributed to Bob Dylan, has a new book deal. The Penguin Random House imprint Portfolio has announced it will publish The Digital Mind: How We Think and Behave Differently on Screens, which Lehrer will co-write with Shlomo Benartzi, a UCLA professor who studies behavior and decision-making. Of his decision to collaborate with Lehrer, Benartzi said, “I am sympathetic toward people who make mistakes.” Lehrer is also working on a book about love for Simon & Schuster.
Tim Parks’s ongoing series of posts about reading, on the NYRB blog, sounds dull but isn’t. In his latest, he asks why we ought to read new books.
New Yorker editor Nicholas Thompson explains how the magazine arrived at the number six when deciding the number of articles readers would see for free with the new paywall system.